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The Ruling Passion; tales of nature and human nature by Henry Van Dyke
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by Henry van Dyke


Let me never tag a moral to a story, nor tell a story without a
meaning. Make me respect my material so much that I dare not slight
my work. Help me to deal very honestly with words and with people
because they are both alive. Show me that as in a river, so in a
writing, clearness is the best quality, and a little that is pure is
worth more than much that is mixed. Teach me to see the local
colour without being blind to the inner light. Give me an ideal
that will stand the strain of weaving into human stuff on the loom
of the real. Keep me from caring more for books than for folks, for
art than for life. Steady me to do my full stint of work as well as
I can: and when that is done, stop me, pay what wages Thou wilt, and
help me to say, from a quiet heart, a grateful AMEN.


In every life worth writing about there is a ruling passion,--"the
very pulse of the machine." Unless you touch that, you are groping
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